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The brutal murder of a woman shocks the Arab world


A viral video shows the last moments of Naira Ashraf, a 21-year-old student who wanted to be a flight attendant, at the hands of a man she rejected.

Prosecutors say Naira Ashraf was stabbed to death by a man after she rebuffed his advances.

Abu Dhabi and Cairo (CNN) --

The brutal murder of a young woman in broad daylight on an Egyptian street has shocked the Arab world, highlighting the crisis of gender-based violence in the country.

Naira Ashraf, 21, was stabbed to death on Monday by a man whose advances she rejected, according to Egypt's public prosecutor's office, which said the suspect was detained outside Mansoura University in northern Egypt where the incident took place. and where Ashraf studied.

Prosecutors say Naira Ashraf was stabbed to death by a man after she rebuffed his advances.

Video from a nearby security camera showing a man attacking a woman outside the university went viral this week across the Arab world.

An attorney for Ashraf's family confirmed to CNN that the video shows the incident in which Ashraf was killed.

The Egyptian Prosecutor's Office says the suspect has been referred to a criminal court and will be tried for premeditated murder.

The first court hearing is scheduled for Sunday.

CNN was unable to contact the suspect or his family for comment, and it is unclear if he had an attorney.

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Experts on women's rights in Egypt say that the problem of gender-based violence is widespread in the country, and that a series of social and legal deficiencies continue to hamper the adoption of adequate measures.

"Naira's murder was definitely not an isolated incident," Lobna Darwish, gender and human rights officer at the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), told CNN.

"[But] we record [now] more coverage of violence against women."


Data is lacking as the state does not properly document these incidents, Darwish said, but cases of abuse make the news almost monthly.

"We're seeing patterns that are alarming," he added.

The Arabic equivalent of the #Justice_for_Naira_Ashraf hashtag has become a widespread trend in Arab countries since the assassination.

"We need a law that fights violence," said Azza Suliman, an Egyptian lawyer and president of the Center for Egyptian Women and Legal Aid.

A discourse around women that is respectful and dignified is also necessary to build trust between women and the state apparatus, she added.

The father of the murdered woman, Ashraf Abdelkader, told CNN that the suspect had asked her to marry him several times, but had refused.

The suspect had also allegedly created fake accounts to follow her on social media, he added.

Finally, Abdelkader applied for a restraining order in April.

"She didn't want to get married, she wanted to pursue her career ... and she wanted to be a flight attendant," Abdelkader said.

Darwish said the victim and her family had exhausted all measures to protect Ashraf, "and once again the whole system, whether social or legal, failed."

Suliman said that for women to feel comfortable reporting these types of incidents, it is necessary to "rehabilitate the channels of justice, which include the police, the judges and the prosecutor's office."

Some responded to the murder by blaming the victim.

A controversial former TV presenter, Mabrouk Atteya, said in a video on social media that women "should cover up" to prevent men from killing them.

"Women and girls should cover up and dress in loose clothing to curb temptation...if you feel your life is valuable, leave the house fully covered to avoid being killed by those who desire you," Atteya said in a live broadcast. .

Atteya's comments sparked outrage on social media and prompted a social media campaign calling for her arrest.

Darwish noted that while Egypt is making progress in tightening laws against sexual harassment, enforcement remains weak both by the police and by society, which in turn discourages many women from seeking legal assistance.

Egypt's State Information Services did not respond to CNN's request for comment.

The National Council for Women in Egypt could not be contacted.

Harassment is illegal in Egypt, and in June last year, the state tightened sexual harassment laws, increasing fines and lengthening prison sentences, according to state media.

The United Nations Development Program ranked Egypt 108th out of 162 countries measured for gender inequalities in health, empowerment, and economic activity, in 2019.

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Last year, nine women were charged with violating family values ​​after they posted videos in which they danced and sang and invited millions of followers to earn money on social media platforms, Reuters reported.

"When the state supports this kind of speech in any way, criminalizing women because of the way they dress or present themselves, it gives these people the green light," said Darwish, referring to men who bear the burden of modesty and morality in women.

"This happens a lot," Darwish said, referring to violence against women.

"Just not on camera."

-- CNN's Celine Alkhaldi contributed to this report.


Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2022-06-24

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